The Trouble with Magic

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The Trouble with Magic
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
January 28, 2014
ISBN
978-0449813805
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When Barbara and Rick Benton find a wizard named Harrison Peabody in an old bottle, they quickly discover that magic isn't as simple as it looks. But even tricky magic is better than no magic, and soon the Bentons are flying around Prospect Park with a large black umbrella and befriending a sea serpent in the lake. How can they keep Harrison a secret, though, when he's living in their attic? Delightful stories that deal with matter-of-fact magic, Ruth Chew's books have been engaging young readers for over 40 years. Now a new generation can discover the timelessness of these marvelous tales.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Great Magical Realism Book Reprinted
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
Barbara and Rick's parents are away, so they are being watched by a nice older lady, Mrs. Cunningham, who is fond of cooking cabbage. The two can't stand the smell, so they buy a dusty air freshener for a quarter at the corner store. When they open it, out pops a wizard named Harrison Peabody. He makes Barbara's room smell like roses-- by having roses grow all over it. Rick's room smells like pine, and you can guess why! But Harrison's magic doesn't always work, so they children let him stay in the attic as long as Mrs. Cunningham doesn't know that he is there. The three go on a number of adventures, including riding on a sea serpent in the local lake, whom they must rescue when he is captured by the zoo. Soon, however, the parents are expected back, so Harrison must leave.

I've always been a huge fan of Chew's work, so the very best part of this for me was the inclusion of the original cover under the dust jacket. For a long time, I had just about all of these delightful magic tales in very fragile paperbacks, but I gave them to another Chew fan a while back. I'm going to buy these for my school library, because they are great for reluctant readers who like magical realism. Simple and fun, they make it seem like magic is just around the corner, if we only know where to look.
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